David Byrne talks saving independent venues; stream his new monthly Sonos mix
Back in April, Sonos announced a new streaming radio service, Sonos Radio, which features ad-free artist-curated stations by the likes of Thom Yorke, Third Man Records, and Alabama Shakes' Brittany Howard, among others.
Now David Byrne's monthly curated show, "Here Comes Everybody," has made its debut on the Sonos Sound System station. He spoke to Sonos about curating it, saying, "I asked them if I could do something where it changes every month, which is kind of a big ask!," he laughed, noting that, since the playlist will change drastically each time, it "might not be for everyone." "It's kind of all over the map," he continues.
Byrne described this month's edition of the mix, saying, "Volume 1 features African pop music from recent decades. Some familiar names like the classics from Fela and King Sunny Adé, William Onyeabor, many many more are not included. There are plenty of others- some well known and some not so much. Some thoughts came to me as I was putting this playlist together."
As he continued, a lot of the inspiration behind each playlist, including this first one, took shape due to Byrne's recent listening history, old favorites, and recommendations from friends. He also took a deep-dive into his recent playlist-curation history, giving listeners a look into what kind of material they might find on "Here Comes Everybody." This preview included tracks from artists including Barış Manço, Ornette Coleman, Christine and the Queens, Ennio Morricone, Chief Dr Sikuru Ayinde Barrister, and more.
Byrne says he's always had a fairly eclectic taste, especially encouraged by the dawn of the Internet, which made anything and everything available at a moment's notice. In the same way that his playlists are quite eclectic, his most recent live show, American Utopia, also explores a multitude of genres and influences.
"Here Comes Everybody" debuted on Sonos at the beginning of the month, and you can also hear it now on Mixcloud:
Meanwhile, Byrne has gotten involved in the movement to save independent venues impacted by COVID-19. In an interview with TODAY, he said, "I see these smaller venues as being essential in that chain of venues that keeps the whole system healthy."
On behalf of NIVA (the National Independent Venue Association), Byrne and countless other major artists signed a letter to Congress, asking that they pass legislation to save independent music venues across the country.
"We need to have the kind of energy and innovation flowing from the smaller places, and it filters up. If you don't have that, then eventually, there's going to be nothing at the top," Byrne said.
Watch his interview on TODAY.